Q33: Should Those Who Have Faith in Christ Seek Salvation Through Works?

New City Catechism: Question 33


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with Tim Keller, Founding Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, answers the question, “Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?”


Galatians 2:16 (ESV)

16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



We can respond to question thirty-three with the following answer: no, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ. To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior. 


Tim said salvation comes by grace through faith alone, not by works. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
Log In to Continue


If we blend faith and works as necessities for salvation, we count ourselves as our own savior instead of Jesus. We cannot add to Jesus’ saving work. We can remain faithful to Him as He sanctifies us.


Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
Log In to Continue

Read through Galatians 2:16. Take a moment to reflect on your salvation. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of salvation, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
Log In to Continue


The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Galatians 2:16. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you remember your salvation.



 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here